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Passing clinic: Titans’ ball movement strong in victory over Heart River

The Heart River girls basketball team and its defense keyed in on Dickinson Trinity sophomore Abbey Kubas. During one possession in the second quarter, the Cougars were denying entry passes into the 5-foot-11 forward, collapsing to the post and d...

Dickinson Trinity senior guard Masy Kuntz delivers a pass to sophomore forward Abbey Kubas during the first quarter against Heart River on Thursday, Jan. 17, from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson Trinity senior guard Masy Kuntz delivers a pass to sophomore forward Abbey Kubas during the first quarter against Heart River on Thursday, Jan. 17, from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)

The Heart River girls basketball team and its defense keyed in on Dickinson Trinity sophomore Abbey Kubas.

During one possession in the second quarter, the Cougars were denying entry passes into the 5-foot-11 forward, collapsing to the post and defending with their arms extended. At one point, Kubas delivered a two-handed volleyball pass to senior Bre Tessier as she had little time to catch and gather against a swarming opponent.

However, thanks to strong ball movement, Kubas was finally able to operate with single coverage down low. She whipped the ball again over to Tessier, who knocked down a corner 3-pointer, extending the home team's lead to 25-7 and prompting Heart River head coach Ronnie Stewart to call timeout.

The Titans scored the first 11 points of the second quarter, with Tessier's trey capping a 16-0 run en route to a 53-32 victory on Thursday, Jan. 17, from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center,

"I feel like we were just playing as a team. We were moving the ball quickly and we broke their pressure pretty well," Tessier said. "When we got it inside to Abbey, all of their girls crashed on her, so then that made all of the outside guards open. That helped to get our shots off."

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With a pair of 3-pointers - both assisted by Kubas, Tessier finished with 12 points. Kubas led all players with 18 points and seven rebounds, but her most important contribution was her four assists.

Late in the first quarter, Kubas found Tessier for a basket inside, as the Titans ended the first quarter with 12-7 advantage. After back-to-back outside jumpers from Kubas and senior forward Alexa Walby, Kubas assisted sophomore forward Amaya Willer as she cut to the lane for shots inside on back-to-back possessions.

"It's been fun to watch us gel as a team over the last couple of weeks," Dickinson Trinity head coach Carter Fong said. "We know that we have a threat inside in Abbey that's hard for teams to stop. We're figuring out what that can create for all the other girls and we're starting to knock down some shots from the perimeter."

The Titans finished the first half shooting 12-for-22 from the floor, while the visitors were only 4 of 19.

Heart River was strong on the defensive end, entering the halftime break with seven steals and forcing Trinity to commit 10 turnovers. Junior Laken Jacobson was particularly disruptive with her quick hands as the point guard pocketed three steals, all of which were either in the backcourt or just past midcourt.

Nonetheless, the Cougars couldn't take advantage, failing to get off a look in transition, missing from the free-throw line or struggling to convert with the Titans' height inside.

"We had a great end to that second quarter and got a lot of steals, we just didn't capitalize," Heart River head coach Ronnie Stewart said. "They did have some long athletic girls that definitely made it tough for us, but we definitely got to do a better job of understand that and pulling the trigger a little bit more, maybe from 10-15 feet."

Jacobson paced the Cougars with nine points and four steals while sophomore guard Caylee Wilke finished with eight points and a team-high five rebounds.

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Heart River did a better job of attacking the paints and running smoother sets offensive, but it could not put together enough plays to put together a surge.

"There's not really a lot of positives about this game," Stewart said. "Morale was down, our girls just didn't come out with the energy that we stressed, we didn't come out with the team spirit that we wanted to. We got a little flustered, got our heads down and did not rebound from that very well.

Dickinson Trinity 53, Heart River 32

HR 7 5 8 12

DT 8 19 13 13

HR: Laken Jacobson 9, Caylee Wilke 8, Afton Shypkoski 7, Jersey Filkowski 4, Meg Silbernagel 2

DT: Abbey Kubas 18, Bre Tessier 12, Alexa Walby 7, Amaya Willer 6, Kara Wanner 3, Kylen Kubas 3, Masy Kuntz 2, Nicolette Reis 2.

3-pointers: HR 1 (Jacobson), DT 3 (Tessier 2). Free throws: HR 5-15, DT 4-11. Total fouls: HR 13, DT 13. Rebounds: HR 26 (Wilke 5), DT 28 (A. Kubas 7). Assists: HR 2 (Jacobson, Wilke 1), DT 8 (A. Kubas 4). Steals: HR 12 (Jacobson 4), DT 8 (Walby 4). Turnovers: HR 14, DT 17. Records: HR 7-5 (Region 7 3-2), DT 8-5 (Region 7 3-1).

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Related Topics: HEART RIVER COUGARS
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